DLR Projektträger's expertise on the future of quantum computing in demand
2nd November 2022 — Simulating chemical substances for new medicines, protecting the climate with CO2 savings thanks to optimised routing, or uncovering the fraudulent use of credit cards – many experts hope that quantum computing will make substantial contributions to solving current problems. Second-generation quantum technologies have already led to a growing number of practical applications and hold great innovation potential for the coming years.
This year's "Futuras in Res" conference of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, which took place in Berlin and online on the 28th and 29th September, addressed the latest advances and upcoming challenges in the development of quantum computing, quantum sensor technology, quantum communication and quantum imaging under the title "The Quantum Breakthrough". Staff from the DLR Projektträger Digital Strategies and Developments Department were invited to contribute DLR Projektträger knowledge in the field of quantum computing in discussions and workshops. Together with other experts from research and industry, they discussed how the potential of quantum computing can be realised in the near future.
The conference impressively demonstrated the opportunities, but also the upcoming challenges in the quantum computing field and showed that we, as DLR Projektträger, have our finger on the pulse of research with our software-focused funding topics.
"The conference very impressively demonstrated the great opportunities, but also the upcoming challenges in the field of quantum computing and made it clear that we have our finger on the pulse of research with our software-focused funding topics. Precisely such topics as stronger interdisciplinary cooperation or enabling companies to use quantum computers, for example through complexity-reducing software layers, are also elementary components of our funding activities," explains Markus Zabelberg, scientific officer in the DLR Projektträger Digital Strategies and Developments Department, and an expert on quantum computing.
A competent partner of the BMWK in the field of quantum computing
Within the framework of the project management agency Development of Digital Technologies for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), DLR Projektträger has been working on the topic of quantum computing for years. For example, the platform project PlanQK – Platform and Ecosystem for Quantum Computing brings together players from science and industry to test quantum computing on real applications. Since the beginning of this year, DLR Projektträger has been implementing the funding programme Quantum Computing – Applications for Industry. Currently, researchers in nine projects with a total of 48 project partners are developing methods and tools to make quantum computing usable for the German economy.
The development of software and applications for quantum computers is becoming a greater priority. "So far, the focus in the further development of quantum computing has been on the necessary hardware," explains Johann Schmidt, scientific officer at DLR Projektträger and expert on quantum computing. "But we must already lay the foundations with the development of appropriate software so that users can benefit from the advantages of the technology even without in-depth knowledge. With our funding activities, we have been advancing developments in this area for several years and have met with a very good response from research and industry."
DLR Projektträger provides scientific support for the funding programme
The implementation of the new funding programme also includes scientific support from DLR Projektträger. This includes, among other things, networking the projects nationally and internationally and promoting the transfer of results. In the future, for example, the project results will be published in short studies in order to make the entire expertise of the funded projects accessible to the scientific community.
Mit der Programmbegleitung übernehmen wir neue Aufgaben, die unsere bisherigen Tätigkeiten gut komplementieren. Wir sind breit vernetzt und verfügen über tiefe Kenntnisse der aktuellen Forschung. Die Einladung zur Konferenz unterstreicht, dass der DLR Projektträger ein wichtiger Partner für die Entwicklung des Quantencomputing in Deutschland ist.